Five Easy Ways to Boost Your Mood
by Chloe Hibbert
Most of us experience the Monday Morning Blues. However, when your mood stays low for the rest of the week, a pick-me-up may be needed to boost your mental state.
Whether you suffer from mild depression, or you are just going through a rough patch, there are things that you can do to improve your emotional health.
When you are feeling low, exercise is usually the last thing on your mind. But hundreds of studies have shown that exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your mood. Physically, chemicals called endorphins are released when you exercise which reduce your perception of pain.
Endorphins also release a positive feeling similar to that of morphine. Emotionally, exercise will build your confidence and self-esteem.
Walking is one of the easiest and accessible activities to do, and best of all its completely free. You could even build up to a gentle jog to really get your cardiovascular system working.
Alternatively, try going on a bike ride with your partner, friends or family for a fun way to get those endorphins flowing.
A healthy diet means a healthy immune system, which leads to a healthy mind. Experts recommend that everyone should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day to ensure you are getting enough essential nutrients, vitamins and fibre. Filling your body with saturated fats and processed sugar is going to leave you feeling lethargic and sluggish.
If you find it hard to eat your greens, try incorporating delicious smoothies into your daily routine- use cheap seasonal fruit to whisk up a drink and enjoy for breakfast or as a healthy snack. If you find eating healthily cuts into your budget, try out your local greengrocers or farmer’s market for vegetables at cut down prices and freeze at home.
Another handy tip is to invest in a good cookbook and start experimenting. By making homemade meals from scratch you will save money and give you a fun project to focus on. You could be the next Jamie Oliver!
3) Cut Back on Alcohol
Alcohol is a drug that depresses the central nervous system. When you are feeling low, the sense of euphoria caused by alcohol can provide a temporary mood boost and lower your inhibitions. But that glass of wine or pint of beer will actually affect the chemistry in your brain, causing alcohol withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, panic attacks and elevated blood pressure.
Cut back on the booze and you will immediately start to see the benefits in your daily life. Alcohol is also expensive- by giving up you may find your bank balance also looks a little healthier! If you feel like you are abusing alcohol then it is essential that you talk to your doctor to find other ways to give you a natural buzz.
4) Complementary Therapies
Many people find that relaxation techniques are a great way to lift their mood when they are feeling down. Yoga is a popular technique for calming the mind through physical poses and breathing exercises. Why not go along to a class and see if it can work for you?
Meditation can also be a simple, free way to relax your mind and find internal peace. Just browse the internet for meditation techniques to get started.
If you worry that you are suffering from mild depression, you may need additional help from a qualified expert. Speak to your doctor and find out if cognitive therapy could work for you- it can help you identify negative thought patterns and may even be covered on your health insurance policy.
5) Talk to a Friend
When you are feeling low, you may not feel like seeing anybody or doing anything, and your social life may begin to suffer. But isolating yourself from your loved ones only makes you feel worse. It is essential that you spend some time with friends and family who make you feel good.
You may also benefit from talking your problems through with someone. Starting a conversation about depression can be daunting, but accepting your feelings and opening up about them with someone will help you feel less alone. Everyone feels down at some point in their lives, and they may have some helpful tips to get you through difficult times.
Feeling down does not mean you are weak or flawed- it shows you are human. Try out these simple tips to see if they can improve your frame of mind, or speak to your doctor for more advice on living a healthy lifestyle.
(Chloe writes articles on health for health insurance comparison website ActiveQuote. As a sufferer of anxiety, she finds that regular running and cooking homemade food is a great way to maintain a positive outlook.)